Young Defensive Ends A Work In Progress

Auburn assistant coach Terry Price is looking to strengthen the defensive end positions this spring.

Auburn, Ala.--One of the major spring assignments for defensive ends coach Terry Price is getting a pair of redshirt freshmen ready to contribute to the 2006 football team.

Antonio Coleman and Alonzo Horton are both making some strides, Price says.

"Right now their heads are spinning a little bit just learning what to do technique-wise, what their assignments are in this defense and being off the scout team for the first time and working with the regulars," Price says.

"They are making progress, slowly but surely. There a some good things and a lot of bad things, which you expect in a first scrimmage, but they are getting better every single day. They are going to be all right."

Price says that he is seeing progress from sophomore Octavius Balkcom, who is up to 6-4, 247 pounds this spring.

Coach Terry Price has bene part of Tommy Tuberville's staff going back to Tuberville's first season at Ole Miss.

"The thing I have always said about him is that he is one of the most physical players we have," Price notes. "He has just got to get better with his technique, his alignments, stances, assignments and all of the little things.

"As long as he keeps progressing and playing physical football, we will find a way to get him on the field," Price adds. "We are always looking for physical football players and he loves to play the game physically."

Marquies Gunn, a senior, was the top defensive end on the team last year looks like that could be the case in 2006. Quentin Groves is improving and Price is hoping the talented junior will be a big-play man this season.

"He graded out well and he improved in some areas," Price says of Groves. "He was more physical at the point of attack, which is something that I have been waiting to see. He has got a long way to go. He is not where we want him to be, but he has made a lot of improvement."

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